{managing director, project manager & client services}

Website Project Manager

Ritz Penaranda project manager

Meet Ritz

Ritz Penaranda is the Managing Director at FatLab, LLC., a position she has held since 2016.

With a unique communications, television production, and diplomacy background, Ritz brings a nuanced perspective to the technical world.

Despite not having a traditional tech-oriented education, she has effectively forged her path in the web project management sphere, with over two decades of experience in website project management.

Ritz prides herself on her ability to “translate” technical jargon to client-friendly language, ensuring smooth communication and understanding.

Ritz’s role at FatLab, LLC. is instrumental in maintaining positive relationships with all our clients, mainly our larger nonprofit/association clients, and ensuring the successful execution of web support plans.

The Personal Touch in Project Management

Ritz’s expertise in the website project management process is truly unparalleled. Over her multiple-decade tenure in this field, she has overseen various projects, each contributing to her extensive skill set and deep understanding of the digital landscape.

She has a proven track record of successfully launching, building, and managing numerous websites.

Furthermore, her unique ability to ‘translate’ technical language into terms understandable to clients indicates her profound grasp of the website project management domain. This expertise, combined with her approachable demeanor and commitment to client satisfaction, firmly situates Ritz as a leader in her field.

Expertise in Website Project Management

Skillset and Achievements

Ritz’s expertise extends to the entire web project management life cycle, including rebuilding, redesigning, and launching websites.

Over the course of her career, she has been involved in numerous such projects, applying her in-depth knowledge and skills to transform outdated or inefficient websites into streamlined, user-friendly, and visually appealing digital platforms.

Her prowess in identifying areas for improvement in existing websites and crafting strategic plans for their redevelopment has resulted in numerous successful website redesigns and launches.

This process often involves rigorous content auditing, innovative graphic design, and the implementation of modern web technologies to enhance functionality and user experience.

Each website project she undertakes is marked by meticulous planning, project research, careful execution, and a keen eye for detail, ensuring that each website she launches meets and often exceeds client expectations.

Effective Communications with the Web Development Team

Ritz understands transparent communication with the development team is key to a project’s success. She recognizes that each web development project entails a blend of creative and technical undertakings, which must be synchronized to deliver a product that meets and exceeds client expectations.

To ensure this, she maintains an open line of communication with the development team, encouraging the exchange of ideas, addressing queries, and resolving potential issues promptly. By fostering an environment of collaboration and mutual respect within the project team, Ritz ensures that every team member feels heard and valued, thereby driving productivity and team collaboration and enhancing the quality of results.

This approach to communication underpins her project management strategy, contributing significantly to the success of her clients.

Dedication to Client Success

A deep-seated commitment to her clients underpins Ritz’s approach to web project management. She is known for her client-centric approach, consistently placing their needs and goals at the heart of every project.

Clear and Constant Communication

Ritz believes in the power of collaboration and maintains open lines of communication with her clients throughout the project life cycle. This ensures their objectives are clearly understood and adequately addressed in the whole web development process and the entire team it’s final product.

She also believes in the importance of road-mapping solutions. Rather than offering one-size-fits-all solutions, Ritz devises tailored strategies to meet each client’s unique needs. These detailed roadmaps serve as a strategic guide, outlining the steps needed to transform the client’s vision into a reality.

Her meticulous planning and commitment to client satisfaction ensure that Ritz delivers solutions that meet and often surpass client expectations.

Client Responsiveness

One of Ritz Penaranda’s most commendable qualities is her client responsiveness. She is always attentive to their concerns, queries, and feedback, ensuring no communication goes unanswered.

This high level of engagement allows her to respond promptly and effectively to any issues that arise, confirming her commitment to excellent client service.

Attention to detail

Further among the key factors setting Ritz apart is her exceptional attention to detail. Whether updating a website, preparing an RFP, or integrating an AMS, Ritz leaves no stone unturned. She meticulously examines every aspect of a project, ensuring that even the most minor details align with the client’s vision and objectives.

This meticulous approach minimizes errors and streamlines processes, leading to high-quality outputs that meet and often exceed, clients’ expectations.


Ritz’s relentless work ethic is one of her defining attributes. She is known for her unwavering dedication and commitment to each project. Regardless of the challenges, Ritz remains focused, putting in the necessary time and effort to ensure the successful completion of every project plan and every task to the highest standard.

Every Client is Exclusive

Her mantra is A key philosophy guiding Ritz Penaranda’s professional approach: “Every client is exclusive.” This means that Ritz treats every client she works with as her only client, focusing on their needs, goals, and vision with unwavering attentiveness and dedication.

She provides them with a service tailored to their unique requirements and context. This approach ensures that each client feels valued, heard, and understood, fostering a sense of exclusivity and personalization in the services they receive.

web development project management
website project management process

The FatLab, LLC Journey

Ritz’s connection to FatLab, LLC traces back to her tenure at SOCMA, where her relationship with the company began as a client.

This Team Goes Back Decades

Shane Larrabee, the founder of FatLab, LLC, had a well-established working relationship with SOCMA that spanned over ten years. When he launched FatLab, this professional relationship seamlessly transitioned, with the client/vendor ties remaining solid and productive.

This relationship, built on mutual respect and shared goals, has flourished over decades. The longevity of their partnership exhibits the trust and reliability characterizing their professional dynamic, providing a solid foundation for continued collaboration and shared success.

Client Becomes a Partner

In 2016, Ritz’s association with FatLab, LLC evolved beyond the client-provider dynamic. Recognizing her profound understanding of web development and website project management methodologies and ability to deliver exceptional results and timely project delivery under budgetary and staffing constraints, FatLab, LLC invited Ritz to join their team. Ritz welcomed the opportunity to work more directly with a company she had long worked with.

A Seamless Skill Transfer

Over the past seven years, Ritz’s contributions to FatLab, LLC have been transformative. Her skill set and strategic approach to resource management have enabled the company to optimize its operations, delivering superior service to clients without straining resources.

Ritz’s dedication to client success has played a vital role in retaining and attracting new clients to FatLab, LLC. Her ability to devise tailored strategies that address each client’s unique needs and her exceptional attention to detail ensure the delivery of high-quality outputs that surpass client expectations.

Project Manager

As a project manager at FatLab, LLC, Ritz has masterfully navigated the dynamics of the digital landscape, effectively translating client needs into exceptional web solutions.

Tasked with overseeing various projects’ progress, Ritz manages the entire project lifecycle, from the initial client consultation and project ideation to implementation and final delivery.

Her proficient knowledge of web technologies and strategic planning skills allow her to drive projects forward, consistently meeting deadlines without compromising quality.

The Web Development Project Management Process

Ritz coordinates with various development teams, designers, developers, and clients.

In this capacity, she ensures that all the cross-functional teams and individuals involved in a project work synergistically towards a common goal. Her excellent communication skills and knack for problem-solving aid in mitigating any potential roadblocks, leading to the smooth execution of projects.

Client Communicaitons

Attributable to her role, Ritz frequently interfaces with clients, maintaining open lines of communication to provide updates and receive feedback. She excels in managing client expectations being able to mediate between the client’s vision and what is technically feasible.

Her adept client management skills and deep understanding of website project management methodology have repeatedly resulted in successfully delivering projects that align with client’s objectives and exceed their expectations.

In her tenure as Project Manager at FatLab, LLC, Ritz Penaranda has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a keen understanding of the intricacies of website project management.

Her contributions continue to be instrumental in the company’s growth and success, further cementing her reputation as a trusted and reliable professional.

The FatLab Executive Partnership

Ritz Penaranda’s collaboration with Shane Larrabee, the principal of FatLab, LLC, has been a defining aspect of her journey with the company.

Their professional partnership is built on a shared commitment to excellence, innovation, and client satisfaction. Over the years, they have worked together on numerous projects, their synergistic working relationship propelling FatLab, LLC to new heights.

Shane’s vast experience and expertise in web development and Ritz’s strategic project management have proven to be a potent combination. Their collaborative efforts have resulted in the successful delivery of dozens, if not hundreds, of complex projects, marked by high levels of client satisfaction and technological innovation.

Their collaboration goes beyond ensuring successful website project management and execution; it also reaches into business strategy and growth areas. They regularly engage in strategic discussions, exploring new avenues for company growth and client service improvement.

This dynamic partnership has facilitated FatLab, LLC’s success and forged a strong mutual respect and trust bond between Ritz and Shane. Their collaboration continues to cornerstone FatLab, LLC’s operations and success.

successful project management

Nonprofit Website Project Management Experience

It’s no coincidence that FatLab, LLC serves many national and local nonprofit organizations within its client base. Ritz Penaranda’s extensive experience and specialized skills in nonprofit and website development and project management make her an invaluable asset to these organizations.

She brings a unique understanding of nonprofits’ specific challenges and goals, enabling her to create effective and tailor-made web solutions to fit their needs.

This specialized service has increased the number of nonprofit organizations seeking FatLab, LLC’s expertise, thus significantly broadening their client base.

An Ideal Fit: The Intersection of Nonprofit Management and Web Support

With a background in nonprofit project management, mainly focusing on communication, Ritz seamlessly integrates her unique experiences into FatLab, LLC’s web support structure.

She is no stranger to handling multiple web projects, having spearheaded numerous digital initiatives in her previous roles within the nonprofit sector.

This experience affords her an intimate understanding of nonprofit organizations’ specific needs and challenges regarding their web presence.

At FatLab, LLC, Ritz leverages this knowledge to inform her project management strategies, enabling her to effectively offer tailored solutions that address each nonprofit client’s unique circumstances.

This direct nonprofit project management experience, combined with her proven expertise in web project management, makes Ritz an indispensable asset to FatLab, LLC, particularly in their services targeted at nonprofit organizations.

Her diverse skill set greatly contributes to the company’s reputation as a reliable and specialized web support firm.

Trade and Issues-Based Nonprofit Project Manager Experience

Before joining FatLab, Ritz served in a key role at the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA). There, she demonstrated her proficiency in managing complex digital landscapes, overseeing the project management of five association websites.

This role demanded a keen understanding of technical details, a command over digital content, and a deft ability to ensure everything ran smoothly and efficiently.

Her effective leadership and problem-solving skills were instrumental in maintaining these websites, ensuring their optimal performance, and streamlining the varied digital needs of the organization. This experience further solidified her reputation as a reliable and accomplished web project manager.

Association Project Management

With a career spanning over a decade in association web project management, Ritz has undoubtedly established herself as a seasoned professional.

During this period, she has worked extensively with various associations, deploying her technical know-how, business management, and project management skills to deliver tailor-made web solutions that have transformed the digital presence of these organizations.

Her keen understanding of the specific needs of associations, coupled with her ability to translate complex technical concepts into readily comprehensible language, has been instrumental in the successful execution of numerous web projects.

Throughout these years, Ritz has also accumulated substantial experience in managing teams, project timelines, and coordinating with stakeholders, honing her leadership skills and reinforcing her ability to manage tasks and deliver projects on time and within budget.

Back-end management and Association Management Systems

Ritz Penaranda’s skill set also encompasses backend maintenance and understanding the intricacies of association management systems (AMS).

Her prowess in backend maintenance involves troubleshooting issues, ensuring the website’s smooth operation, and undertaking necessary updates.

She also understands the importance of reliable, efficient, user-friendly AMS for associations. She has vast experience integrating AMS with websites, synchronizing both platforms to provide members with seamless and efficient experiences.

Whether updating membership databases, managing event registration, or coordinating email marketing efforts, Ritz employs her expertise to ensure that the AMS runs smoothly and effectively, resulting in better engagement, improved member service, and, ultimately, organizational growth.

Her skill in managing both the front and back ends of websites and AMS makes her a versatile and effective leader in the digital space.

RFPs and Contracts

Ritz has extensive experience crafting Request for Proposals (RFPs) and negotiating contracts. Her ability to articulate the project scope and requirements clearly and succinctly in RFPs has played a pivotal role in attracting the right vendors and aiding the project realization process.

With a keen understanding of the nuances of contract negotiation, Ritz has successfully secured favorable terms for her clients, ensuring projects are cost-effective without compromising on quality.

This skillset in RFP creation and contract negotiation further solidifies her comprehensive expertise in web project management, demonstrating her proficiency not only in the technical aspects but also in the administrative and strategic elements of the field.

Bridging the Technical Gap

A defining aspect of Ritz Penaranda’s skillset is her ability to bridge the gap between “tech-speak” and “association-speak.” This unique talent enables her to communicate effectively with technical team members and association stakeholders, translating intricate technological concepts into terms easily understood by individuals without a technical background.

This ensures all parties are on the same page, promoting seamless cooperation and fostering a better understanding of project processes and goals.

Moreover, this skill is equally valuable in understanding and conveying the specific needs of associations, translating these requirements into technical directives to guide the web development project management process.

Balancing technical and association vernacular, this linguistic skill contributes significantly to Ritz’s effectiveness as a web project manager, ensuring clear communication, successful and effective project management and execution, and client satisfaction.

Maximizing Association Resources

In the face of budget and staff constraints, Ritz Penaranda maximizes an association’s resources to achieve desired outcomes.

Leveraging years of experience in association project management, she employs pragmatic strategies that optimize resource allocation, ensuring that every dollar and every minute are put to the best use.

Ritz’s approach is always geared towards efficiency and value, from identifying cost-saving opportunities in web design and web development teams’ processes to streamlining workflows.

She also understands the importance of staff training, believing that a well-equipped team can accomplish more with less. Through her in-depth training programs, she empowers association staff with the tools and knowledge to contribute effectively to web project management tasks.

This reduces the burden on resources and fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the association. Thus, through careful resource management and strategic planning, Ritz enables associations to navigate and overcome budgetary and staffing challenges.

effective project management

Personal Touch: Beyond Website Project Management


Ritz’s life in McLean is enriched by her family, notably her son, who has grown up to build a remarkable academic career. He now holds a teaching position at a prestigious university in the Washington D.C. area, a source of immense pride for Ritz.

In addition to her accomplished son, Ritz’s family life is enriched by her loving husband, who provides each other with unwavering support in their respective professional and personal journeys.

Other Interests

Fast Cars

Ritz’s multifaceted personality is best illustrated by her diverse interests, which extend far beyond her professional life. Among these, a notable passion is her fondness for MINI Cooper cars. An enthusiast of the brand, she cherishes the unique blend of British heritage and modern engineering that MINI Cooper represents.


Ritz is also an avid traveler, exploring new cultures, landscapes, and experiences. Recent vacations have seen her traverse the vibrant cityscapes and serene fjords of Norway, cycle through the picturesque streets of Denmark, immerse herself in Spain’s rich history and culture, and revel in the lush greenery of Ireland.

These journeys inspire her, enabling her to bring fresh perspectives to her work and imbuing her with a sense of global connectedness that permeates her professional interactions.

What Does A Web Project Manager Do?

As a Web Project Manager, Ritz Penaranda carries many core responsibilities that shape her role.

Project Planning

One of her major tasks involves the strategic planning of web projects. This includes defining project scope, setting realistic timelines, and determining essential resources. Ritz meticulously outlines each project phase, ensuring all steps toward the end goal are clearly defined and executed.

Team Management

Ritz is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the web development team. She assigns tasks, monitors and tracks progress throughout, and ensures every team member contributes effectively to project goals. Her leadership plays a vital role in fostering a collaborative and productive environment.

Client Communication

As the primary point of contact for clients, Ritz is responsible for updating them on project developments, managing their expectations, and addressing their concerns. Strong communication skills are essential in this role to ensure a clear understanding of the project’s progress and any potential issues.

Quality Assurance

Ritz oversees the quality of the web project, ensuring it meets the highest standards. She regularly reviews and tests the development team’s work, ensuring all elements function as intended and the final product aligns with client specifications.

Budgeting and Resource Allocation

Budgeting and resource allocation play an integral role in Ritz Penaranda’s approach to web project management. She understands that proper budget management is paramount to the successful execution of any project. By accurately estimating and controlling project costs, Ritz ensures the efficient use of resources, avoiding unnecessary expenses and mitigating financial risks.

Bridging Communication Gaps

A critical aspect of Ritz Penaranda’s role as a Web Project Manager is bridging the communication gaps between technical and non-technical stakeholders. Her technical and association vernacular competence allows her to serve as a conduit between these groups, translating complex technical concepts into language everyone can understand.

Risk Management

Ritz handles risk management, identifying potential project risks, and implementing contingency plans. This foresight helps mitigate disruptions, keeping the project on track even in the face of unforeseen events.

Quality Assurance and Testing

Quality Assurance (QA) and testing are paramount to successful project delivery in web project management. Ritz Penaranda emphasizes these aspects, ensuring that every project she manages meets the highest quality standards.

Project Timeline Management

Effective timeline management is a cornerstone of Ritz Penaranda’s role as a Web Project Manager. She establishes a detailed project timeline with the dev team at the onset, outlining key milestones, tasks, and dependencies. This timeline acts as a roadmap, guiding the project team through each phase of the development process.

Maintaining Project Management Software

A fundamental part of Ritz Penaranda’s responsibilities as a Web Project Manager is maintaining project management software. These tools are a centralized hub for all project-related information, tasks, and communication. Ritz ensures the software is consistently updated with the latest data, including project progress, timelines, and tasks. This practice provides a real-time overview of the project status, promoting transparency and facilitating efficient decision-making.

Client Relationship Management

Building and maintaining strong client relationships is at the heart of Ritz’s role as a Web Project Manager. She fosters open, transparent communication, ensuring that clients are kept fully informed about the progress of their projects.

Moreover, Ritz understands the importance of empathy in client communication, showing genuine interest in their needs, ideas, and concerns. She often goes above and beyond to exceed client expectations, delivering solutions that meet their requirements and provide additional value.


project management teams